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Case Studies and Success Stories and is chaired by Kristjan Mar

The penultimate conference session today is called Case Studies and Success Stories and is chaired by Kristján Már.

Óli Kr Ólafsson from Nordic eMarketing takes the podium first. He talks about an example of an Icelandic car dealership which tried not to shoot a small bird with a cannon. More targeted approach is cheaper and better.

Nordic ePR’ed the site with great effect. But simultaneously to the rise in traffic was a great increase in return visitors too.

The ePRs from the car company appeared on Nordic’s own news website which was experiencing a huge jump in traffic due to the banking crisis. It’s a case of using negative attention to push positing information.

The landing page being ePRed got 14,000 visitors in the first few days, and this is a great number for a brand new website with a great deal of competition on search phrases (even though the product was unique at the time).

It was a successful result that the targeted countries reacted best to the ePR, despite the fact that they were not the main visiting countries to the news website generally. Google results often ranked the ePR higher than the customer; but the customer is linked to in the ePR.

This was overall a small and targeted intelligent campaign that meant very few cars had to be sold to cover the costs.

Internet marketing should never be a cannon shot in the dark. Choose your pebble wisely and throw it with precision.

Next up is Rand Fiskin. Rand is talking about the fundamentals of SEO tools. Which all begins with self analysis, and then competitive analysis: where do we sit among our competitors?

Link building comes next. Targeted links that are a means to an end and not done for linking’s sake.

Link acquisition is often about search ranking more than it is about direct sales.

SEOmoz created its own domain rank software because it got frustrated by the lack of information they were able to get from the search engines. Among other things this tool allows the user to see what people are actually saying about you when they link to you.

When it comes to competitive analysis, it’s more interesting to see how you compare than just to know your score in an isolated way. When looking at links, it’s great to know that you have links from a variety of places, and not just lots from a few places.

Yahoo even allows you to find all the times you’ve been mentioned without linking to you. You can then contact them and ask for a link.

Similarly you can isolate all the pages that link to two of your competitors but not to you.

Link building is inherently a human art. The automated approach is just a waste of money and pretty much just spam. So avoid it.

Track and record your link counts over time, not just a single snapshot. That’s far more useful. Tracking rankings over time is also important, if tedious.

How much do links really matter? The answer is that they answer a tonne. The engines care about link popularity way above content and URL. Although, remember that good content earns the links in the first place…

Kristján then shows us the importance of links by Googling ‘click here’. Because millions of sites link to Adobe with those words, Adobe ranks top. Despite not saying ‘click here’ anywhere on their own site.

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Kristjan Mar Hauksson is the founder and director of search and online communications at Nordic eMarketing. The company specializes in multilingual online communications, organic search engine optimization, and marketing through several verticals such as tourism, finance, government, and pharmaceuticals. It helps companies gain international visibility online and to use the Internet as a communication channel; it also provides consultation in web content management systems and analytics solutions. Hauksson is on the board of directors of SEMPO, on the Advisory board for Bing Advertising and founded the Iceland SEO/SEM forum. He has been involved in developing Internet solutions since 1996, and involved in search engine optimization and marketing since 1997. He is a publish author on the topic of Internet Marketing and among other co-authored the acclaimed Global Search Engine Marketing.